Mastodon - Crack The Skye
You should've seen this coming.
And by "you" I mean the Mastodon fan who is going to complain about how Crack the Skye doesn't rock hard enough. I'm sure you're out there and you need to know that you've been kidding yourself. This band was bound for this destination since Leviathan and, if you didn't see that, don't blame them.
That said, people will still blame Mastodon and some will even say that they've "sold out" or emasculated their sound in order to appease some mainstream fanbase that doesn't exist. Sure, I may have wanted or expected slightly more face melting shreds but then Crack the Skye wouldn't be Crack the Skye. It would be a different album as would Mastodon be a different band; an inferior band.
The voyage that Crack the Skye takes you on is inspired and visionary. One can't help but get the impression that this is the sound Mastodon has been pining for all these years. It is masterful in execution and brilliant in concept.
Recently the band mentioned during an interview (while discussing the exclusive performance of Crack the Skye on their upcoming tour) that they hoped this album and subsequent tour would amount to their version of Pink Floyd's The Wall. While it might not reach that level of conceptual vision, execution, or fame, for Mastodon, Crack the Skye is quite an accomplishment and one that could be compared to the achievement of a young Pink Floyd.
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on 2009-05-31 blacktoothgrin Said:
In every interview with Mastodon I have read since just before the release of Crack The Skye and now for quite a while after, the band never fails to be asked about the concept behind their latest progressive-metal opus; that concept drawing from elements of astral projection, wormholes, Tzarist Russia and soul-battles with Satan among other things. Listening to Crack The Skye, you can tell there is so much more to this album than just a wacky Genesis-esque storyline.
Reviewing this album track by track would be a fruitless attempt at conveying its strengths. Each track by itself is strong but together they are so much more. The Czar (divided into parts ala similarly epic 70's-era Rush compositions) and The Last Baron both last over ten minutes but never once can a listener feel bored: similar efforts by other bands often leave a train journey frought with anxious glances at the screen of my iPod to see when the song will be over.
This seems like a real collaborative effort from the band with so many influences from the likes of Yes and Thin Lizzy and Neurosis (frontman Scott Kelly appears in the incredible penultimate title track) floating around like stars in a galaxy. It appears to be what they have been aiming for with previous efforts like Blood Mountain and Leviathan, riveting as they may have been. I applaud the less agressive approach Mastodon takes. It is still undeniably heavy but it is a maudlin gravity as opposed to one of animalistic fury. Their screaming brutality only served to dilute the spaciness that Mastodon really does achieve with this epic prog-metal masterpiece.
on 2009-03-19 Trismus Said:
the whole album is available on their MySpace page, so you can find the last track their if you need to.
on 2009-03-19 X_NaStY Said:
I have said last track. Let me know if you'd like it.
on 2009-03-19 SolitaryMan Said:
I'm pretty sure I hear Scott Kelly (of Neurosis fame) on the title track...awesome! This album just keeps getting better and better. Can't wait to actually own a copy so I can hear the last track, haha.
on 2009-03-19 SolitaryMan Said:
This won't go down as anything on the level of what Pink Floyd did mainly because it doesn't have the near-universal appeal Dark Side or The Wall seemed to have; but it should go down as the most creative, daring and rewarding Mastodon experience yet. This isn't a user review because I haven't heard the entire album (can't seem to find the last track, "The Last Baron" ANYWHERE), but 6 songs' worth of pure bliss await the listener within. It smells like an Album of the Year to me, and time will tell on that, but every time I listen to it it grows on me a little bit more.
on 2009-03-18 SolitaryMan Said:
The last paragraph of this review got me more excited to hear this record than I have a right to be, haha. Great review, Aaron. I wasn't aware this was "available" yet...gonna have to go digging...will definitely post a user review on this one...
on 2009-02-04 dscanland Said:
Album art revealed for Crack The Skye. I know there are a bunch of Mastodon fans excited about this release.